Brian Goodman -
Photographer, Designer, Author
Born in Los Angeles in 1957, Brian Goodman has been creating photography for over 50 years. He has always been captivated by the visual interplay between light, color and texture, which is reflected in his images that have spanned the globe, capturing stirring landscapes, intriguing characters, and thought-provoking studies.
As a child, Brian spent his time capturing the grandeur of the U.S. National Parks on family vacations throughout the western United States, using his Kodak Hawkeye Instamatic camera, now a part of his extensive photographic collection. As he graduated to his first 35mm camera, Brian began to explore his interests in fine art photography and photojournalism.
He studied photographic arts and graphic design at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Israel, and Otis/Parsons School of Art & Design in Los Angeles. In the early 1980’s, he began working for several large commercial photography studios in various capacities, allowing him to further hone his technical, management, and artistic skills.
Brian opened his first professional photo studio in 1987 in Pasadena, California, and later incorporated as Public Works Productions, Inc., moving his full-service commercial photography and design studio to a 6,000 square foot building in nearby Altadena.
Brian was an early adapter of the new digital technologies that were emerging in the early 1990’s. After he bought his first Apple Macintosh computer in 1985, it gradually became an integral part of the tools of his trade. In 1992, Brian was asked to demonstrate the premiere of the Leaf Digital Camera Back at the acclaimed international photographic trade show, Photokina, in Cologne, Germany. Public Works became a leader in the field of digital commercial photography as one of the first of its kind in California and across the United States.
While growing his commercial photography business over a 30-year span, Brian continued to develop his personal repertoire of fine art photographs. In 2015, he decided it was time to retire from the world of commercial photography and concentrate exclusively on creating fine art.
In his latest exploratory series, the Solace of Space, Brian uses original photographs of natural landscapes, transforming them into completely new interpretations of light and color, evoking a sense of emotion, movement and imagination. ()
Over the years, Brian’s fine art photography has focused on many varied genres, including: scenic and landscape images; photo-journalistic portraits of life in the Middle East, Europe, North, Central, and South America; and historical photographic studies of the human experience.
This photographic compilation of images of the remnants of the Manzanar War Relocation Center is one of those studies, and one that has haunted him for years. Creating Manzanar: Their Footsteps Remain is part of his mission to expose the shocking treatment of the Japanese community and the U.S. government’s efforts to conceal its very existence from the American people, in the backdrop of the stark, stunning beauty of the desert.
Brian currently resides with his wife, Shira, who served as consultant, co-researcher, co-writer, editor, and the keeper of clean laundry on this project. They live with their black lab, Shooshi, in Port Townsend, Washington.
Shira Goodman -
Author, Editor, Keeper of Clean Laundry
As an avid linguaphile (lover of language) and logophile (word lover), Shira Goodman has spent her entire life in the pursuit of discovering the wonders of language, which led her to pursue a degree in Linguistics in 1981 from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Shira has a working knowledge of Hebrew, French & Spanish and loves to "collect" phrases in foreign languages. She started writing children's stories when she was 8-years-old, making her own little books from scraps of paper. From her teens through her twenties, she wrote poetry in English and French, studied sketching, painting and jewelry making, and performed in musical theater and in various choral groups. She still enjoys singing whenever possible.
Over the past 40 years, her writing repertoire has continued to expand. As a business owner, she has written numerous documents —everything from corporate contracts and marketing blurbs to employee manuals and customer communications. She has recently been focusing on posting and blogging political commentary and persuasive writings. Her first major editing work was for photographer Avi Roth’s art book "Jerusalem: The Sacred Hub,” in 2017.
Shira didn’t learn about Manzanar until, as an adult, she visited the site with Brian in the mid-80’s. But even with all that she learned there on their several visits together, the more she researched historical documents, documentary and docudrama films, numerous articles and interviewing Japanese-Americans in preparation for writing the book copy, she was nevertheless shocked to discover the extent of the racist actions of the U.S. government against its Japanese-American citizens. And worse, how they made every attempt to mislead the public, play upon their fears, and then cover up the physical evidence and paper trail.
As she agonized for hours, poring over thesaurus suggestions for just the right words, with just the right connotations for the message that she and Brian were trying to convey, she became more and more passionate about this powerful, largely unknown story. It became so much more than a history lesson, told among the backdrop of Brian's beautiful and haunting photographs. Because while writing about that egregious act of racism in the past, the current Trump administration's racist policies against immigrants and refugees continued to escalate at an alarming pace, and Shira felt an increasing urgency to tell this story truthfully and accurately. It was easy for her to see how Trump's inhumane treatment of children and families, locking them up in concentration camps without due process, was eerily reminiscent of that dark time in U.S. history nearly 80 years ago.
Shira lives in Port Townsend, WA, enjoying the cooler climate and the artistic and active community, along with her husband, Brian, and their sweet lab, Shooshi.